Leaders must possess a number of characteristics: charisma, courage, decisiveness but, above all, a command of the art of compromise.
In my political life I had to decide between compromise, which can sometimes be mistaken for weakness, and rigidity which temporarily seems attractive, but leads one to a path fraught with danger.
The issue of good governance is one which should pervade all the policies and strategies of the party in Opposition. In spite of its recent “local difficulties” the party has emerged stronger; certainly capable of moving forward, and facing the challenges of the future, immediate and distant.
In my mediation efforts I have been impressed by the love for the party in the present and previous leader.
They have different talents and characters which are perfectly capable of complimenting each other.
I experienced the art of compromise of the current leader for the sake of the party’s unity, and the loyalty of the former leader to the party and its ideals.
The Nationalist Party needs the talents and experiences of everyone who holds its beliefs. It needs the experience of old hands, and the energy of the new budding leaders; blended together they strengthen the party in its way forward.
In military history there have been occasions when politicians were urged by military hawks to attack, to make the first move to indulge in military adventures.
Some succumbed to such counsel with disastrous consequences; other wiser political leaders ignored such advice, and through diplomatic and other non-aggressive measures, sought and reached a solution.
Compromising for a good cause is never a sign of frailty or cowardice; it is a sign of strength; magnanimity rather than humiliation is always a better solution.
The fact that a report was leaked does not reduce its veracity
As the United States diplomat and politician Madeleine Kunin once said: “Compromise contrary to popular opinion, does not mean selling out one’s principles. It means working out differences to forge a solution which fits the diversity of the body politic.”
The party has had a string of leaders who have risen to the occasion.
From the Resistere slogan of Enrico Mizzi to the rally cry of Truth Prevails of Eddie Fenech Adami. It is not made of leaders or prima donnas. It is made of ordinary people who share ideals and work as a team.
The leadership of the party should examine the Egrant Report, accept its findings where supported by factual evidence and sound arguments, and underline the facts which are unpleasant for the government which have been discovered.
It should, as stated by both Adrian Delia and Simon Busuttil last Monday, monitor and pursue the other magisterial inquiries requested by the previous leadership, based on FIAU reports, that is reports drafted by a government agency, which have shed a light on the shady and dark side of politics as practised by the current government.
The fact that a report was leaked does not reduce its veracity. Anyone who has watched The Post knows that the dark side of the Nixon administration was revealed by unauthorised leaks of official documents.
Through Wikileaks, it has transpired that the US intelligence agencies have monitored telephone conversations not only of foes, but also of bosom friends from the Western world.
No one claimed then that such important revelations should have been buried because the leak was not regular.
The same applies to the current inquiries which need to be brought to a conclusion as soon as possible.
Two other issues need to be stressed. The rising cost of living, particularly of foodstuff and essential products, along with the exorbitant rents being exacted in the rental market must be monitored; the party should put these issues at the forefront too.
So, should the rising crime rate.
In part it may be due to the increasing population, but there is no doubt that one detects a sense of helplessness in the face of more organised crime, not necessarily linked to drug trafficking. The recent spate of brazen killings should be a cause for concern and oppositions are there to voice the concerns of citizens.
I have no doubt in my mind that the current leadership, with the assistance of the old, can rise to this challenge.
Tonio Borg is a former deputy prime minister and European commissioner.
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